I was driving home from my childhood home. I have done that a thousand times in my lifetime. This time I was closing a chapter. I finally finished giving, selling, and throwing the rest of the memories away. I drove through a snowstorm and talked to some precious friends about what I had accomplished. I have lost some things in this fire. But as I got closer to home, and the tears dried, I was alone in my car; I realized something amazing. The most important things that I have with me that will never ever leave me cannot be washed away, torn out of a book, or burned to the ground.

I have boxed up and tried to hang on to so many things through the years. I have had many fears and hang-ups. As I drove and talked to one friend I have had for a couple of decades and a friend I met a month ago, I realized the people are the most precious. I thumbed back through my life, starting from my childhood. I called my brother to let him know that I made it home, and he shared a couple of childhood memories. I realized that even those visits to aunts and uncles with their hugs placed fingerprints on my soul. And every single year, with each and every person who touched my life, they touched me and imprinted something that shaped me just like a piece of clay. I have an imprint of a memory of all of them. Even if I do not have a photo in the boxed that I have in my possession. I have the words in my mind. I remember the places that I have been. I am connected to the people that I have met and been with. I can reach out to them and connect with them again. I am still here. These fingerprints are always on my soul, and these people still remember me and the memories that we made together. And even more importantly, there is something that I somehow gave too. I am discovering now that I can give also. This discovery is new to me, as I have gone through this process. As I reach out to these people in my past and reconnect with them, I may discover new things, just like when you read a book the second time. When you have grown, you see things from a different side. I would like to understand how I may have touched or helped some of these people in my past. And now that I am different, I know how important it is to let them know how incredibly important they were to me when I needed them. Because many times in my past, I did not have the words to tell them how their hands and fingerprints shaped my life at the time their lives crossed mine. But now I do, and it is time to let them know.

I am grateful that I have a chance to do that.

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